Archive | February, 2020

Massachusetts Institute of Technology study: Low-cost ‘smart’ diaper can notify caregiver when it’s wet

16 Feb

Web MD reported in Diaper Rash Overview:

Diaper rash appears on the skin under a diaper. Diaper rash typically occurs in infants and children younger than 2 years, but the rash can also be seen in people who are incontinent or paralyzed.
Almost every baby will get diaper rash at least once during the first 3 years of life, with the majority of these babies 9-12 months old. This is the time when the baby is still sitting most of the time and is also eating solid foods, which may change the acidity of the bowel movements.

Diaper Rash Causes
• Friction: Most diaper rash is caused by friction that develops when sensitive baby skin is rubbed by wet diapers. This results in a red, shiny rash on exposed areas.
• Irritation: The skin under the diaper gets red from irritants such as feces, urine, or cleaning agents. Irritation can be caused by the diaper or by the acid in urine and bowel movements. This rash appears red in the area where the diaper has rubbed and is normally not seen in the folds of the skin.
• Candidal infection: The rash of a candidal infection, also known as fungal or yeast infection, usually has a bright, beefy red appearance and is very common after the use of antibiotics. Candida is a fungal microorganism that is typically found in warm, moist places such as in the mouth. In fact, Candida is the same organism that causes thrush.
• Allergic reaction: The rash may be a reaction to diaper wipes, diapers, laundry detergent, soap, lotion, or the elastic in plastic pants.
• Seborrhea: This is an oily, yellow-colored rash that may also be seen in other areas of the body, such as the face, head, and neck.
https://www.webmd.com/children/diaper-rash#2

It is important to monitor the child or adult to ensure wet diapers are changed. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research project studied a smart diaper.

Science Daily reported in Low-cost ‘smart’ diaper can notify caregiver when it’s wet:

For some infants, a wet diaper is cause for an instant, vociferous demand to be changed, while other babies may be unfazed and happy to haul around the damp cargo for lengthy periods without complaint. But if worn too long, a wet diaper can cause painful rashes, and miserable babies — and parents.
Now MIT researchers have developed a “smart” diaper embedded with a moisture sensor that can alert a caregiver when a diaper is wet. When the sensor detects dampness in the diaper, it sends a signal to a nearby receiver, which in turn can send a notification to a smartphone or computer.
The sensor consists of a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, that is placed below a layer of super absorbent polymer, a type of hydrogel that is typically used in diapers to soak up moisture. When the hydrogel is wet, the material expands and becomes slightly conductive — enough to trigger the RFID tag to send a radio signal to an RFID reader up to 1 meter away.
The researchers say the design is the first demonstration of hydrogel as a functional antenna element for moisture sensing in diapers using RFID. They estimate that the sensor costs less than 2 cents to manufacture, making it a low-cost, disposable alternative to other smart diaper technology.
Over time, smart diapers may help record and identify certain health problems, such as signs of constipation or incontinence. The new sensor may be especially useful for nurses working in neonatal units and caring for multiple babies at a time.
Pankhuri Sen, a research assistant in MIT’s AutoID Laboratory, envisions that the sensor could also be integrated into adult diapers, for patients who might be unaware or too embarrassed to report themselves that a change is needed.
“Diapers are used not just for babies, but for aging populations, or patients who are bedridden and unable to take care of themselves,” Sen says. “It would be convenient in these cases for a caregiver to be notified that a patient, particularly in a multibed hospital, needs changing.”
“This could prevent rashes and some infections like urinary tract infections, in both aging and infant populations,” adds collaborator Sai Nithin R. Kantareddy, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Sen, Kantareddy, and their colleagues at MIT, including Rahul Bhattacharryya and Sanjay Sarma, along with Joshua Siegel at Michigan State University, have published their results today in the journal IEEE Sensors. Sarma is MIT’s vice president for open learning and the Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Sticker sense
Many off-the-shelf diapers incorporate wetness indicators in the form of strips, printed along the outside of a diaper, that change color when wet — a design that usually requires removing multiple layers of clothing to be able to see the actual diaper.
Companies looking into smart diaper technology are considering wetness sensors that are wireless or Bluetooth-enabled, with devices that attach to a diaper’s exterior, along with bulky batteries to power long-range connections to the internet. These sensors are designed to be reusable, requiring a caregiver to remove and clean the sensor before attaching it to each new diaper. Current sensors being explored for smart diapers, Sen estimates, retail for over $40.
RFID tags in contrast are low-cost and disposable, and can be printed in rolls of individual stickers, similar to barcode tags. MIT’s AutoID Laboratory, founded by Sarma, has been at the forefront of RFID tag development, with the goal of using them to connect our physical world with the internet…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200214144334.htm

Citation:

Low-cost ‘smart’ diaper can notify caregiver when it’s wet
Design combines a common diaper material with RFID technology

Date: February 14, 2020
Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Summary:
Researchers have developed a ”smart” diaper embedded with a moisture sensor that can alert a caregiver when a diaper is wet. When the sensor detects dampness in the diaper, it sends a signal to a nearby receiver, which in turn can send a notification to a smartphone or computer.

Journal Reference:
Pankhuri Sen, Sai Nithin R. Kantareddy, Rahul Bhattacharyya, Sanjay E. Sarma, Joshua E. Siegel. Low-cost diaper wetness detection using hydrogel-based RFID tags. IEEE Sensors Journal, 2019; 1 DOI: 10.1109/JSEN.2019.2954746

Here’s the press release from MIT:

Low-cost “smart” diaper can notify caregiver when it’s wet
Design combines a common diaper material with RFID technology.

Jennifer Chu | MIT News Office

For some infants, a wet diaper is cause for an instant, vociferous demand to be changed, while other babies may be unfazed and happy to haul around the damp cargo for lengthy periods without complaint. But if worn too long, a wet diaper can cause painful rashes, and miserable babies — and parents.
Now MIT researchers have developed a “smart” diaper embedded with a moisture sensor that can alert a caregiver when a diaper is wet. When the sensor detects dampness in the diaper, it sends a signal to a nearby receiver, which in turn can send a notification to a smartphone or computer.
The sensor consists of a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, that is placed below a layer of super absorbent polymer, a type of hydrogel that is typically used in diapers to soak up moisture. When the hydrogel is wet, the material expands and becomes slightly conductive — enough to trigger the RFID tag to send a radio signal to an RFID reader up to 1 meter away.
The researchers say the design is the first demonstration of hydrogel as a functional antenna element for moisture sensing in diapers using RFID. They estimate that the sensor costs less than 2 cents to manufacture, making it a low-cost, disposable alternative to other smart diaper technology.
Over time, smart diapers may help record and identify certain health problems, such as signs of constipation or incontinence. The new sensor may be especially useful for nurses working in neonatal units and caring for multiple babies at a time.
Pankhuri Sen, a research assistant in MIT’s AutoID Laboratory, envisions that the sensor could also be integrated into adult diapers, for patients who might be unaware or too embarrassed to report themselves that a change is needed.
“Diapers are used not just for babies, but for aging populations, or patients who are bedridden and unable to take care of themselves,” Sen says. “It would be convenient in these cases for a caregiver to be notified that a patient, particularly in a multibed hospital, needs changing.”
“This could prevent rashes and some infections like urinary tract infections, in both aging and infant populations,” adds collaborator Sai Nithin R. Kantareddy, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Sen, Kantareddy, and their colleagues at MIT, including Rahul Bhattacharryya and Sanjay Sarma, along with Joshua Siegel at Michigan State University, have published their results today in the journal IEEE Sensors. Sarma is MIT’s vice president for open learning and the Fred Fort Flowers and Daniel Fort Flowers Professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Sticker sense
Many off-the-shelf diapers incorporate wetness indicators in the form of strips, printed along the outside of a diaper, that change color when wet — a design that usually requires removing multiple layers of clothing to be able to see the actual diaper.
Companies looking into smart diaper technology are considering wetness sensors that are wireless or Bluetooth-enabled, with devices that attach to a diaper’s exterior, along with bulky batteries to power long-range connections to the internet. These sensors are designed to be reusable, requiring a caregiver to remove and clean the sensor before attaching it to each new diaper. Current sensors being explored for smart diapers, Sen estimates, retail for over $40.
RFID tags in contrast are low-cost and disposable, and can be printed in rolls of individual stickers, similar to barcode tags. MIT’s AutoID Laboratory, founded by Sarma, has been at the forefront of RFID tag development, with the goal of using them to connect our physical world with the internet.
A typical RFID tag has two elements: an antenna for backscattering radio frequency signals, and an RFID chip that stores the tag’s information, such as the specific product that the tag is affixed to. RFID tags don’t require batteries; they receive energy in the form of radio waves emitted by an RFID reader. When an RFID tag picks up this energy, its antenna activates the RFID chip, which tweaks the radio waves and sends a signal back to the reader, with its information encoded within the waves. This is how, for instance, products labeled with RFID tags can be identified and tracked.
Sarma’s group has been enabling RFID tags to work not just as wireless trackers, but also as sensors. Most recently, as part of MIT’s Industrial Liason Program, the team started up a collaboration with Softys, a diaper manufacturer based in South America, to see how RFID tags could be configured as low-cost, disposable wetness detectors in diapers. The researchers visited one of the company’s factories to get a sense of the machinery and assembly involved in diaper manufacturing, then came back to MIT to design a RFID sensor that might reasonably be integrated within the diaper manufacturing process.
Tag, you’re it
The design they came up with can be incorporated in the bottom layer of a typical diaper. The sensor itself resembles a bow tie, the middle of which consists of a typical RFID chip connecting the bow tie’s two triangles, each made from the hydrogel super absorbent polymer, or SAP.
Normally, SAP is an insulating material, meaning that it doesn’t conduct current. But when the hydrogel becomes wet, the researchers found that the material properties change and the hydrogel becomes conductive. The conductivity is very weak, but it’s enough to react to any radio signals in the environment, such as those emitted by an RFID reader. This interaction generates a small current that turns on the sensor’s chip, which then acts as a typical RFID tag, tweaking and sending the radio signal back to the reader with information — in this case, that the diaper is wet.
The researchers found that by adding a small amount of copper to the sensor, they could boost the sensor’s conductivity and therefore the range at which the tag can communicate to a reader, reaching more than 1 meter away.
To test the sensor’s performance, they placed a tag within the bottom layers of newborn-sized diapers and wrapped each diaper around a life-sized baby doll, which they filled with saltwater whose conductive properties were similar to human bodily fluids. They placed the dolls at various distances from an RFID reader, at various orientations, such as lying flat versus sitting upright. They found that the particular sensor they designed to fit into newborn-sized diapers was able to activate and communicate to a reader up to 1 meter away when the diaper was fully wet.
Sen envisions that an RFID reader connected to the internet could be placed in a baby’s room to detect wet diapers, at which point it could send a notification to a caregiver’s phone or computer that a change is needed. For geriatric patients who might also benefit from smart diapers, she says small RFID readers may even be attached to assistive devices, such as canes and wheelchairs to pick up a tag’s signals.
This research was supported in part by Softys under the MIT Industry Liason Program.
http://news.mit.edu/2020/smart-diaper-rfid-notify-caregiver-0214

Andrew Karpisz wrote in The Effects of Disposable Diapers on the Environment and Human Health:

The Big Problem With Disposable Diapers
In the United States, there are about four million babies born every year. During their first year of life, the average newborn uses about 2500 diapers. This means that from babies under one year old, Americans dispose of around a trillion diapers a year. If we include all children before potty-training age, the amount grows. Children in their second year of life need fewer diapers, around four to five a day. That’s an extra 1400-1800 diapers a year, per child.
Production of synthetic diapers began in the 1960s and gained popularity over the following decade. In 2017, Americans disposed of over four million tons of used diapers, 80% of which just sits in landfills. Diapers are made of synthetic materials that aren’t biodegradable.
Out of all “non-durable goods,” diapers were the second most generated waste by weight, surpassed only by discarded clothing and shoes. And we have over half a century’s worth of them taking up space.
Chemical compounds in diapers
Aside from the sheer volume of waste, disposable diapers contain many harmful substances.
• Tributyltin (TBT) – A biocide used to prevent the growth of bacteria. It’s poisonous to marine life as well as humans. It damages fertility, unborn children, and our organs. TBT can be fatal if inhaled and doesn’t degrade. TBT remains in our ecosystem and is entering our food chain.
• Dioxins – A group of persistent organic pollutants. The bleaching process used on diaper material creates dioxins as a by-product. They’re carcinogenic and linked long-term health problems. Dioxins are highly toxic, according to the EPA.
• Adhesives, synthetic dyes, and perfumes – They are manufactured with and contain the chemicals on this list. Adhesives are used to hold the entire diaper together. Synthetic dyes create the cute pictures found on diapers, as well as the colored straps and the convenient strip telling you whether the baby needs to be changed. Diapers use perfumes to hide odors.
• Sodium polyacrylate – Used as the absorbent stuffing. Menstrual pads containing this compound have been implicated in cases of toxic shock syndrome.
• Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) like toluene, xylene, ethylbenzene, and dipentene – They’re used to produce dyes, polymers, and adhesives. But the problem with these chemicals is that they are quickly released into the air when exposed to heat.
• Plastics/polymers – Mainly polypropylene and polyethylene, but also includes polyester, polyurethane, and polyolefin. They’re the primary materials used in product packaging, household products, and the production of plastic grocery bags, respectively. Most of a diaper is composed of these non-recyclable plastics.
• Phthalates – While they’re used to soften plastics, the diaper’s adhesives, dyes, and perfumes also contain these chemicals. People of any age can have adverse reactions to phthalates, but unborn babies and young children are potentially more susceptible.
• Petroleum/petrolatum – Used to keep diapers from leaking.
Most of us don’t want these substances in our environment. Yet we are encouraged to place these compounds directly against our children’s skin.
What about alternatives?
Fortunately, we have other options that are better for our children and the environment.
Biodegradable Disposable Diapers
A few companies have started production of completely biodegradable diapers. They use plant-based materials instead of polyacrylate stuffing, artificial dyes, toxic materials, and plastics.
There is a higher price attached to these diapers, due to higher manufacturing costs. But you also get the comfort of knowing that your child won’t be exposed to harsh chemicals. These diapers won’t sit in landfills for centuries. If you want the convenience of disposable diapers without the waste, these are perfect.
Reusable Cloth Diapers
If you can’t stomach the high cost of biodegradable disposables, there is still another solution — cloth diapers.
Reusable cloth diapers have come a long way since their creation. The classic image of a cotton sheet held on with safety pins is no longer the reality. They’ve updated cloth diapers with contours, velcro or snaps, leak protection, and some pretty stylish prints. Now, these diapers are made of breathable fabrics and don’t require soaking before washing (like they did previously).
Not only are they environmentally friendly, but cost about half as much as the seven thousand diapers a child uses before potty training. Are you having another child? The only cost is laundering if you chose not to do it at home. Reusables require scant investment instead of a constant drain on your wallet.
Let’s say that you don’t want to have to wash them at home. For the sake of convenience, there are plenty of companies that provide delivery and laundering services. There are green and eco-friendly cleaners as well, so your environmental impact from cloth diaper use has the potential to be negligible.
The cost of laundering services, combined with the purchase of cloth diapers, is almost equal to that of using disposable diapers. Cloth diapers save us significant energy, water, raw materials, and landfill space when compared to single-use diapers.
In The End…
Diapers are a necessity for your child. The negative impact on our environment is not. It’s possible to achieve the same protection at a lower cost and similar convenience for about the same as disposables…. https://www.unsustainablemagazine.com/2020/01/10/the-effects-of-disposable-diapers-on-the-environment-and-human-health/

Children are not the only users of disposable diapers. Research and Markets projects in Global Incontinence Products Market Outlook 2019-2025 – Disposable Adult Diapers Will Bring in Healthy Gains of $10.6+ Billion by 2025 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-incontinence-products-market-outlook-2019-2025—disposable-adult-diapers-will-bring-in-healthy-gains-of-10-6-billion-by-2025–300994508.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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University of Waterloo study: Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

9 Feb

Often children who evidence signs of a substance abuse problem come from homes where there is a substance abuse problem. That problem may be generational. eMedicineHealth lists some of the causes of substance abuse:

Substance Abuse Causes
Use and abuse of substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and illegal drugs may begin in childhood or the teen years. Certain risk factors may increase someone’s likelihood to abuse substances.
Factors within a family that influence a child’s early development have been shown to be related to increased risk of drug abuse.
o Chaotic home environment
o Ineffective parenting
o Lack of nurturing and parental attachment
Factors related to a child’s socialization outside the family may also increase risk of drug abuse.
o Inappropriately aggressive or shy behavior in the classroom
o Poor social coping skills
o Poor school performance
o Association with a deviant peer group
o Perception of approval of drug use behavior
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/substance_abuse/article_em.htm
Substance abuse is often a manifestation of other problems that child has either at home or poor social relations including low self-esteem. Dr. Alan Leshner summarizes the reasons children use drugs in why do Sally and Johnny use drugs? http://archives.drugabuse.gov/Published_Articles/Sally.html

Science Daily reported in: Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18:

A study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth, found that young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence.
The study led by UW Medicine researchers interviewed 521 students recruited from four Seattle public middle schools. Researchers used data from annual assessments when students were ages 12-15 and then again when they were 18. The results were published in the journal Addiction.
“The findings suggest that if we can prevent or reduce chronic depression during early adolescence, we may reduce the prevalence of cannabis use disorder,” said lead author Isaac Rhew, research assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
What researchers called “a 1 standard deviation increase” in cumulative depression during early adolescence was associated with a 50 percent higher likelihood of cannabis-use disorder.
According to researchers, during the past decade cannabis has surpassed tobacco with respect to prevalence of use among adolescents. Cannabis and alcohol are the two most commonly used substances among youth in the United States. They pointed to one national study showing increases in prevalence of cannabis use disorder and alcohol use disorder in the United States, especially among young adults.
Longitudinal studies looking at the link between depression and later use of alcohol and cannabis, however, have been mixed. Some show a link. Others don’t. But most studies have assessed adolescent depression at a single point in time — not cumulatively, said the researchers. Further, there have been differences in how substance use has been measured ranging from the initiation of any use to heavier problematic forms of use.
The study oversampled for students with depressive and/or conduct problems. The researchers were surprised to see that the prevalence of cannabis and alcohol use disorder in this study was notably higher than national estimates with 21 percent meeting criteria for cannabis use disorder and 20 percent meeting criteria for alcohol use disorder at age 18.
What effect the easing of marijuana laws in Washington state had on the youth is unclear. Researchers said it would be informative to conduct a similar study in a state with more strict marijuana laws to understand whether the relationship between depression and cannabis misuse would still hold in areas where marijuana may be less accessible…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717151031.htm

Citation:

Depression among young teens linked to cannabis use at 18
Seattle-focused study suggests earlier intervention with depressed youths could reduce rate of cannabis-use disorder
Date: July 17, 2017
Source: University of Washington Health Sciences/UW Medicine
Summary:
Young people with chronic or severe forms of depression were at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, found a study looking at the cumulative effects of depression in youth.

Journal Reference:
Isaac C. Rhew, Charles B. Fleming, Ann Vander Stoep, Semret Nicodimos, Cheng Zheng, Elizabeth McCauley. Examination of cumulative effects of early adolescent depression on cannabis and alcohol use disorder in late adolescence in a community-based cohort. Addiction, 2017; DOI: 10.1111/add.13907

Resources:

Marijuana medical benefits – large review finds very few https://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/marijuana-medical-benefits-large-review/

Marijuana and Cannabinoids | NCCIH
https://nccih.nih.gov/health/marijuana

See, https://drwilda.com/tag/marijuana/           https://drwilda.com/tag/what-is-medical-marijuana/             https://drwilda.com/tag/marijuana-how-can-it-affect-your-health/

Science Daily reported in Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles:

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study.
The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.
The researchers also found that descriptive information, such as symbols and words, are more effective in helping consumers understand THC potency and approximate serving sizes for cannabis products.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”
He added, “Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis….”
The study also found that a ‘traffic light’ system, which uses traffic light colours to indicate potency, allowed two-thirds of respondents to identify products with high levels of THC, compared to 33 per cent of respondents who only used numerical THC information.
In 2018, Statistics Canada found that 32 per cent of cannabis users consumed edibles.
“New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers,” Hammond said. “However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flower.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200207123801.htm

Citation:

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles
Date: February 7, 2020
Source: University of Waterloo
Summary:
Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new study. The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.

Journal Reference:
Cesar Leos-Toro, Geoffrey T. Fong, Samantha B. Meyer, David Hammond. Cannabis labelling and consumer understanding of THC levels and serving sizes. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2020; 107843 DOI: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.107843

Here is the press release from the University of Waterloo:

Waterloo News

Few consumers understand THC levels in cannabis edibles

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020

Few cannabis consumers understand what the THC numbers on packages of cannabis edibles really mean, according to a new University of Waterloo study.
The study, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Canadians aged 16 to 30, found that most consumers could not identify whether a cannabis edible contained ‘low’ or ‘high’ levels of THC based on the label.
The researchers also found that descriptive information, such as symbols and words, are more effective in helping consumers understand THC potency and approximate serving sizes for cannabis products.
“Using THC numbers to express potency of cannabis products has little or no meaning to most young Canadians,” said David Hammond of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. “We’ve known for many years that people struggle to understand the numbers on the back of food packages and cigarette packages. Consumers seem to have equal or even more difficulty with THC numbers, which are used to indicate the potency of cannabis products.”

He added, “Effective THC labelling and packaging could help reduce to accidental over-consumption of cannabis edibles and adverse events, which have increased in jurisdictions that have legalized recreational cannabis.”
Health Canada currently requires cannabis packages to list the ingredients, product type, potency and other essential information, including weight in grams, and percentage of THC (or CBD, depending on the product), but not symbols or intuitive labeling on THC levels.
The researchers conducted two experiments with 870 Canadians aged 16-30 in 2017: The first investigated whether consumers could understand how many servings there were in a package, and the second examined if consumers could identify how potent the product was.
The study found approximately 6 per cent of consumers could correctly identify serving size on products that had no label, or only listed the weight. Seventy-seven per cent could identify the serving when the dosage was listed.
The study also found that a ‘traffic light’ system, which uses traffic light colours to indicate potency, allowed two-thirds of respondents to identify products with high levels of THC, compared to 33 per cent of respondents who only used numerical THC information.
In 2018, Statistics Canada found that 32 per cent of cannabis users consumed edibles.
“New regulations that limit cannabis edibles to a maximum of 10 mg per package are particularly important given that most consumers do not understand THC numbers,” Hammond said. “However, the findings suggest that consumers will need easier-to-understand THC information for other products, including oils, concentrates and dried flower.”
The study, Cannabis labelling and consumer understanding of THC levels and serving sizes, was published in the Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and co-authored by Cesar Leos-Toro, Geoffrey Fong, Samantha Meyer and David Hammond, all at the University of Waterloo.                                                                   https://uwaterloo.ca/news/news/few-consumers-understand-thc-levels-cannabis-edibles

If you suspect that your child has a substance abuse problem, you will have to seek help of some type. You will need a plan of action. The Partnership for a Drug Free America lists 7 Steps to Take and each step is explained at the site. http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

If your child has a substance abuse problem, both you and your child will need help. “One day at a time” is a famous recovery affirmation which you and your child will live the meaning. The road to recovery may be long or short, it will have twists and turns with one step forward and two steps back. In order to reach the goal of recovery, both parent and child must persevere.

Related:

University of Washington study: Heroin use among young suburban and rural non-traditional users on the
https://drwilda.com/2013/10/13/university-of-washington-study-heroin-use-among-young-suburban-and-rural-non-traditional-users-on-the-increase/

Resources

Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base
http://www.crchealth.com/troubled-teenagers/teenage-substance-abuse/adolescent-substance-abuse/signs-drug-use/

Warning Signs of Teen Drug Abuse
http://parentingteens.about.com/cs/drugsofabuse/a/driug_abuse20.htm?r=et

Is Your Teen Using?
http://www.drugfree.org/intervene

Al-Anon and Alateen
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

WEBMD: Parenting and Teen Substance Abuse
http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/tc/teen-substance-abuse-choosing-a-treatment-program-topic-overview

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a very good booklet for families What is Substance Abuse Treatment?
http://store.samhsa.gov/home

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a web site for teens and parents that teaches about drug abuse NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
http://teens.drugabuse.gov/

THE JURY IS OUT ON THE MEDICAL USES OF MARIJUANA.

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Dr. Wilda ©
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Johns Hopkins University study: New toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water

2 Feb

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote in Disinfection with Chlorine & Chloramine:

Water can come from a variety of sources, such as lakes and wells, which can be contaminated with germs that can make people sick. Germs can also contaminate water as it travels through miles of piping to get to a community. To prevent contamination with germs, water companies add a disinfectant—usually either chlorine or chloramine 1—that kills disease-causing germs such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and norovirus. The type of chloramine discussed on this page that is used to treat drinking water (monochloramine) is not the same type that can form and harm the indoor air quality around swimming pools (dichloramine or trichloramine) 2.
Chlorine was first used as a drinking water disinfectant in Europe in the late 1800s. It was first used in the U.S. in 1908 in Jersey City, New Jersey 1. Chloramine has been used as a drinking water disinfectant in the U.S. in places like Springfield, Illinois, and Lansing, Michigan since 1929 2. Today, chlorine and chloramine are the major disinfectants used to disinfect public water systems.
How can I find out what’s in my drinking water?
Many public water systems have to add a disinfectant to the water. The disinfectant must be present in all water found in the pipes that carry the water throughout the community 3. Most communities use either chlorine or chloramines. Some communities switch back and forth between chlorine and chloramines at different times of the year or for other operational reasons 4. Less commonly, utilities use other disinfectants, such as chlorine dioxide 2. Some water systems that use water from a groundwater source (like community wells) do not have to add a disinfectant at all 5. You can find out whether there is a disinfectant in your water, what kind of disinfectant is used, and how well your utility has remained in compliance with the rules about disinfection by obtaining a copy of your utility’s consumer confidence report 3. This is an annual report that your utility has to send to all customers every year…. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_disinfection.html

See, Chlorination of Drinking Water https://www.water-research.net/index.php/water-treatment/tools/chlorination-of-water

Dr. Edward Group wrote in Toxic Chemical: The Health Dangers of Chlorine:

Chlorine is a naturally occurring element and, as part of the literal salt of the earth, very abundant. Humans have harnessed chlorine and most commonly use it for disinfecting purposes. Unfortunately, chlorine’s potential toxicity is not limited to mold and fungus and has actually been linked to serious health dangers for humans.
Chlorine Is Bad for the Brain
Chlorine is in many household cleaners, it’s used as a fumigant, and, since it impedes the growth of bacteria like e. coli and giardia, and is often added to water systems as a disinfectant. Subsequently, much exposure happens by drinking treated tap water. While disinfection of drinking water is a necessary measure to reduce diseases, concerns have been raised about the safety of chlorine, which has been linked to serious adverse health effects, including dementia in elderly patients.[1]
Chlorine Is Bad for the Lungs
Inhalation of chlorine gas can cause difficulty breathing, chest pains, cough, eye irritation, increased heartbeat, rapid breathing, and death. Where are most people exposed? The swimming pool. Consider that, when used to maintain a swimming pool, chlorine is a poison that’s diluted just enough so that it can still kill pool scum without being strong enough to kill a human. Common sense dictates that can’t be a totally harmless situation and the research backs it up.
A review of available research (and there is a lot of it) by Marywood University confirms that long-term exposure to chlorinated pools can cause symptoms of asthma in swimmers.[2] This can affect athletes who were previously healthy, especially adolescents.[3]
Chlorine is even toxic enough to be a chemical weapon and categorized as a “choking agent”.[4] Exposure would be a very traumatic experience.[5] In fact, the Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina reported a chlorine spill accident that happened in South Carolina in January of 2005. Ten months after the event, exposure victims were still so shaken that many reported recurring PTSD symptoms.[6]
Chlorine Is Caustic
In addition to the internal effects of exposure to chlorine, eye and skin irritation in swimmers has been hypothesized to originate from chlorine exposure.[7] That’s not all, did you know that swimming pool chlorine is associated with tooth enamel erosion? It’s not often mentioned but the New York University College of Dentistry lists it as a prime concern.[8]
Reducing Chlorine Exposure
Much chlorine exposure happens by choice and by simply making new choices you can help reduce exposure risks. If you have a pool, avoid chlorine products. There are alternative methods that can be used to keep pools disinfected, including silver-copper ion generators and salt water.
Avoid home cleaning products that contain chlorine. There are natural and organic alternatives available. You can even make your own.
One of the most significant measures you can take is to always drink distilled water or consider a water purification system for your home. It will help to reduce toxins before the water even comes out the faucet…. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/toxic-chemical-health-dangers-chlorine/

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported concerns about use of disinfecting water systems by using chlorine.

Science Daily reported in: New toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water:

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.
The researchers’ findings were published this past week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
“There’s no doubt that chlorine is beneficial; chlorination has saved millions of lives worldwide from diseases such as typhoid and cholera since its arrival in the early 20th century,” says Prasse, an assistant professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and the paper’s lead author.
“But that process of killing potentially fatal bacteria and viruses comes with unintended consequences. The discovery of these previously unknown, highly toxic byproducts, raises the question how much chlorination is really necessary.”
Phenols, which are chemical compounds that occur naturally in the environment and are abundant in personal care products and pharmaceuticals, are commonly found in drinking water. When these phenols mix with chlorine, the process creates a large number of byproducts. Current analytical chemistry methods, however, are unable to detect and identify all of these byproducts, some which may be harmful and can cause long-term health consequences, says Prasse.
In this study, Prasse and colleagues employed a technique commonly used in the field of toxicology to identify compounds based on their reaction with biomolecules like DNA and proteins. They added N-α-acetyl-lysine, which is almost identical to the amino acid lysine that makes up many proteins in our bodies, to detect reactive electrophiles. Previous studies show that electrophiles are harmful compounds which have been linked to a variety of diseases.
The researchers first chlorinated water using the same methods used commercially for drinking water; this included adding excess chlorine, which ensures sufficient disinfection but also eliminates harmless smell and taste compounds that consumers often complain about. After that, the team added the aforementioned amino acid, let the water incubate for one day and used mass spectrometry, a method of analyzing chemicals, to detect the electrophiles that reacted with the amino acid.
Their experiment found the compounds 2-butene-1,4-dial (BDA) and chloro-2-butene-1,4-dial (or BDA with chlorine attached). BDA is a very toxic compound and a known carcinogen that, until this study, scientists had not detected in chlorinated water before, says Prasse.
While Prasse stresses that this is a lab-based study and the presence of these novel byproducts in real drinking water has not been evaluated, the findings also raise the question about the use of alternative methods to disinfect drinking water, including the use of ozone, UV treatment or simple filtration.
“In other countries, especially in Europe, chlorination is not used as frequently, and the water is still safe from waterborne illnesses. In my opinion, we need to evaluate when chlorination is really necessary for the protection of human health and when alternative approaches might be better,” says Prasse…. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200128142744.htm

Citation:

New toxic byproducts of disinfecting drinking water
Date: January 28, 2020
Source: Johns Hopkins University
Summary:
Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts.

Journal Reference:
Carsten Prasse, Urs von Gunten, David L. Sedlak. Chlorination of Phenols Revisited: Unexpected Formation of α,β-Unsaturated C4-Dicarbonyl Ring Cleavage Products. Environmental Science & Technology, 2020; 54 (2): 826 DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b04926

Here’s the press release from Johns Hopkins:

What’s in Your Water?

Researchers Identify New Toxic Byproducts of Disinfecting Drinking Water

January 29, 2020

CONTACT:
Chanapa Tantibanchachai
Office: 443-997-5056 / Cell: 928-458-9656
chanapa@jhu.edu @JHUmediareps

Mixing drinking water with chlorine, the United States’ most common method of disinfecting drinking water, creates previously unidentified toxic byproducts, says Carsten Prasse from Johns Hopkins University and his collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and Switzerland.
The researchers’ findings were recently published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
“There’s no doubt that chlorine is beneficial; chlorination has saved millions of lives worldwide from diseases such as typhoid and cholera since its arrival in the early 20th century,” says Prasse, an assistant professor of Environmental Health and Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University and the paper’s lead author.
“But that process of killing potentially fatal bacteria and viruses comes with unintended consequences. The discovery of these previously unknown, highly toxic byproducts raises the question how much chlorination is really necessary.”
Phenols, which are chemical compounds that occur naturally in the environment and are abundant in personal care products and pharmaceuticals, are commonly found in drinking water. When these phenols mix with chlorine, the process creates a large number of byproducts. Current analytical chemistry methods, however, are unable to detect and identify all of these byproducts, some which may be harmful and can cause long-term health consequences, says Prasse.
In this study, Prasse and colleagues employed a technique commonly used in the field of toxicology to identify compounds based on their reaction with biomolecules like DNA and proteins. They added N-α-acetyl-lysine, which is almost identical to the amino acid lysine that makes up many proteins in our bodies, to detect reactive electrophiles. Previous studies show that electrophiles are harmful compounds which have been linked to a variety of diseases.
The researchers first chlorinated water using the same methods used commercially for drinking water; this included adding excess chlorine, which ensures sufficient disinfection but also eliminates harmless smell and taste compounds that consumers often complain about. After that, the team added the aforementioned amino acid, let the water incubate for one day and used mass spectrometry, a method of analyzing chemicals, to detect the electrophiles that reacted with the amino acid.
Their experiment found the compounds 2-butene-1,4-dial (BDA) and chloro-2-butene-1,4-dial (or BDA with chlorine attached). BDA is a very toxic compound and a known carcinogen that, until this study, scientists had not detected in chlorinated water before, says Prasse.
While Prasse stresses that this is a lab-based study and the presence of these novel byproducts in real drinking water has not been evaluated, the findings also raise the question about the use of alternative methods to disinfect drinking water, including the use of ozone, UV treatment or simple filtration.
“In other countries, especially in Europe, chlorination is not used as frequently, and the water is still safe from waterborne illnesses. In my opinion, we need to evaluate when chlorination is really necessary for the protection of human health and when alternative approaches might be better,” says Prasse.
“Our study also clearly emphasizes the need for the development of new analytical techniques that allow us to evaluate the formation of toxic disinfection by-products when chlorine or other disinfectants are being used. One reason regulators and utilities are not monitoring these compounds is that they don’t have the tools to find them.”
Other authors on this study include Urs von Gunten of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and David L. Sedlak of The University of California, Berkeley.
Funding for this study was provided by the U.S. National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program (Grant P42 ES004705) at the University of California, Berkeley and internal funding from Johns Hopkins University.
###
Johns Hopkins University news releases are available online, as is information for reporters. To arrange a video or audio interview with a Johns Hopkins expert, contact a media representative listed above or visit our studio web page. Find more Johns Hopkins stories on the Hub.
January 29, 2020 Tags: Carsten Prasse, chlorination, Environmental Health and Engineering, The Whiting School of Engineering, toxic byproducts, water, water treatment
Posted in Engineering

Office of Communications
Johns Hopkins University
3910 Keswick Road, Suite N2600
Baltimore, Maryland 21211
Phone: 443-997-9009 | Fax: 443 997-1006

Water and Waste Digest reported in Chlorination and Its Alternatives:

Alternatives

Despite the popularity of chlorination, the treatment method has limitations when attempting to disinfect private wells that are heavily contaminated and possess protozoan parasites such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia. Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and reverse osmosis (RO) filtration both have proved effective at inactivating specific protozoan. Both methodologies purify water without the addition of harsh chemicals or the need to handle hazardous materials.
UV Disinfection
UV disinfection is the process where microorganisms are exposed to UV light at a specified intensity for a specific period of time. This process renders the microorganism to be considered “microbiologically dead.” UV light penetrates the cell wall of the
microorganism affecting the DNA by fusing the Thyamine bond within the DNA
strand, which prevents the DNA strand from replicating during the reproduction
process. This fusing of the Thyamine bond is known as forming a dimerase of the
Thyamine bond. If the microorganism is unable to reproduce/replicate then it is
considered to be “microbiologically dead.” While providing a 99.99 percent inactivation of bacterium and viruses, UV will have no effect on water chemistry.
Reverse Osmosis
RO filtration uses a semipermeable membrane that enables the water being purified to pass through while contaminants remain behind. Traditionally, osmosis refers to the attempt to reach equilibrium by dissimilar liquid systems trying to reach the same
concentration of materials on both sides of a semipermeable membrane. Reversing
the osmotic process is accomplished by applying pressure to stop the natural
osmosis process, creating RO. RO removes virtually all organic compounds and 90
to 99 percent of all ions from the processed water. In addition, RO can reject
99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria and pyrogens. Alternative methods of treatment for private water supplies such as UV and RO do not provide a residual effect like chlorination. Without a residual, the regrowth of contaminants further down in the
distribution system becomes possible. Chlorination generally is an inexpensive treatment method and proven to be effective against a broad spectrum of pathogens. Although it has shown itself to be effective against waterborne bacteria and viruses, it provides only some degree of protection against protozoan agents. Nevertheless, a private water supply should utilize a treatment system that kills or neutralizes all pathogens in the water through an automatic, simply maintained and safe process. Chlorination remains the most popular choice of treatment for private water supplies by homeowners. https://www.wwdmag.com/chlorinators/chlorination-and-its-alternatives

See, Community Water Treatment https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/public/water_treatment.html

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